What type of leader are you?
Your leadership style is your unique stamp on your role as manager in your organisation. How you approach tasks like problem-solving, delegation and motivation all reflect your values and perspective.
Reflecting on your leadership style has many benefits and will move your career forward. Learning your preferred leadership approach will help you recognise the characteristics of your team, resulting in more effective channels of communication that benefit individuals, teams and the business.
A simple definition of leadership is the art of motivating and inspiring a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal (Source). At its core, effective leadership relies on strong and engaging communication that inspires a team to follow the leader’s direction. Ultimately, however, an effective leader increases the company’s bottom line.
Whilst some people have more natural leadership skills than others, people can become better leaders by improving particular skills. Psychology Today says, “The best estimates offered by research are that leadership is about one-third born and two-thirds made.”
To improve leadership skills like being assertive, emotionally intelligent and motivating, managers can take an industry-recognised leadership and management qualification from the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM). Here at Educ8, managers can take our LEAD21 ILM Level 3 or LEAD21 ILM Level 5 courses.
What you can expect to learn about leadership on the LEAD21 course?
Aspiring managers and team leaders are introduced to leadership models and theories to assess their preferred patterns of leadership behaviour, and how effective these are within the working practices and culture of their organisation.
Andrew Davey teaches on LEAD21. He says, “We take a look at a number of different leadership models applicable to businesses today.”
Participants can expect to study traditional theories from the likes of Daniel Goldman, a popular approach used by businesses which have been around for many years. With the growth of lean start-ups in recent years, LEAD21 covers modern behavioural theories, such as transactional and transformational approaches.
“A lot of participants recognise these theories,” Andrew says, “because they have often been managed by it.”
More experienced managers can take the ILM Level 5 course, where they are encouraged to reflect on their ability to adapt their leadership style to different situations and people. Theories of emotional intelligence are explored to assist in reviewing and making judgments to improve leadership ability. Key skills covered are the ability to set direction, motivate, delegate and empower others in their personal development.
No one leadership style suits all
Leadership is not a one-style-fits-all approach. No one leadership style will suit all leaders or even all situations. Your leadership style is meant to be fluid, adapting to different people and situations, and growing with time and experience.
John Jones, Engineering Manager at Burton’s Biscuits, completed LEAD21 in December 2017. He found the programme helped him reflect on his leadership style. “When I walked into the LEAD21 course I was certain that I was one type of leader,” he says, “Through the tools that we used to understand leadership I learnt that you can always improve aspects of yourself to be a better manager and leader.”
Andrew explains what participants can expect on the ILM course. “We will show you all the different models and an element of each might be used when you’re monitoring performance or if there’s a deadline and you need to set the pace. Participants learn to pick out the elements relevant to the situation at that time.”
Reflecting on your leadership style
An ILM Award is an invaluable opportunity to reflect on decisions taken as a manager and a leader. Paul Hodges, a specialist in Merchandising & Retail Support at RMS, describes how LEAD21 gave him the skills to stand back, look at his business and reflect on his management style:
“I thought I was in a good place as a manager and I was set on my approach. The programme made me rethink that and took me on a journey where I realised there were areas I could improve which were integral to my business. That for me has been the most valuable aspect of the LEAD21 course.”
The benefits of reflecting on leadership style extend beyond the course. Sarah, team manager at Welsh Water, completed the course in December 2017. Her manager says, “It really brought the team on. Sarah has already gone through the models on her team and implemented beneficial changes.”
Educ8’s LEAD21 uses digital technology to deliver the course alongside face-to-face teaching. The digital delivery and the short length of the course offer an alternative to the more traditional classroom-based courses.
The short length of LEAD21 means that employers see the benefits really quickly rather than a traditional ILM course which would take 6-7 months to complete.
The shorter delivery of LEAD21 doesn’t get in the way of building a professional network across different services and organisations. Paul says, “Even though we only met every couple of weeks, the course encourages us to use technology to keep in touch.”